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  1. #1
    beyondaurora
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    Unhappy MBTI: My Unhealthy Obsession

    This won't be news to many of you...I am obsessed with figuring out my type. And the word 'obsessed' isn't to be taken lightly.

    I spend every free moment (truly) trying to figure out my type. I drove 30 miles yesterday to purchase 'Gifts Differing' and 'Personality Type: An Owner's Manual'. I do as little work as possible at my jobs, instead endlessly browsing the same sites I've explored before, but each time following some new idea (that surely, this time, will unlock the answer!). This weekend, like the last and the one before it, have been spent laying in bed reading 'Understanding Yourself and Others' or enneagram books, hardly getting up but for the necessities.

    I just keep going in circles and circles.

    And this isn't the only subject with which I do this. I am also obsessed with the 'Color Me Beautiful' color-coordinated dressing system. My mom will no longer go shopping with me because I hold every piece of clothing to my hair or skin to see if it is congruent. I would spend the daylight hours of my weekend time not with my husband but outside trying to capture my skin's 'undertone' in the natural light so that I could determine whether I am a 'warm' or 'cool'. (It's amazing that I want so desperately to match colors perfectly, yet I while doing so, my room continues to look like this.)

    The problem is, with both of these obsessions, I am apparently ill-equipped at utilizing the systems. One day I will determine with absolute certainly that I am such and such type or that I am a 'warm'. The next day, I 'see' with absolute clarity that I am wrong! I will purchase 'warm-colored clothing' then take the items back because I realize I was wrong. Every cycle includes a 'Eureka' moment followed by disillusion followed by a 'Eureka' moment and on and on.

    For whatever reason, I cannot recognize these things on my own. I don't know what's wrong with me. And the more I realize I cannot recognize them, the more I want to re-read the rules of the system and try again! I just know I can do it!

    The strange thing is, even in my posting of this, I have faith that the 'answer' is in my obsessions themselves! That the pairing of my tertiary and inferior are responsible for this unhealthy loop.

    I'm at the point where I feel the only thing that will help me is to quit these obsessions cold-turkey, but I fear that unless I understand the functions at work, I will do the same thing with something else (previously I was obsessed with finding the 'perfect' career, which ultimately brought me to MBTI which which has obviously gotten me nowhere).

    I'm not sure what I even expect anyone to say...I'm just lost at the moment.

  2. #2
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Have you simply tried to read some profiles and decide for you which you like the most? What do you score on the tests?
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  3. #3
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Your an ESTJ. Why? Because we need more of them on this forum, so I'm making you one.
    "All humour has a foundation of truth."
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  4. #4
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    I would spend some time reflecting on the nature of MBTI, rather than your type.

    I recently read something in a Theories of Personality by Hall/Lindzy, in a chapter on Allport's theory of personality. Just to give you a little background, Allport's believed that personality could be understood as an amalgamation of "traits." A trait is a disposition to act in a certain way, given a certain stimulus. Allport believed that these traits were unique to people and no two people had the same exact trait, just different traits. With that said:

    Quote Originally Posted by p.265
    Finally, Allport distinguishes between traits and types in terms of the extent to which they are tailored to the individual. A man can be said to possess a trait but not a type. Types are idealized constructions of the observer, and the individual can be fitted to them, but only at the loss of his distinctive identity. The trait can represent the uniqueness of the person whereas the type must conceal it. Thus, for Allport, types represent artificial distinctions that bear no close resemblance to reality, and traits are true reflections of what actually exists.
    So if you're going to describe someone's traits, you say "they do this when this happens, and that when that happens." You're not giving that trait a label, and not trying to group the traits together to look for a trend. Typing is very different. It takes the traits -- the sum of a person's responses -- and tries to code one narrow class (decision making, information gathering) based on which responses predominate. The responses that don't predominate are pretty much ignored. For example, if I'm 49% F and 51% T, I call myself a T. But then what about the 49% F?

    I'm guessing you keep seeing the other part and think "oh, I must be a this." But if you think about it, it's really rather irrelevant. You will continue to think the way you think regardless of how you classify yourself under a crude classification scheme. Your preferences won't change after you classify yourself. Neither will the way you think. You probably have traits that belong to each type that get expressed in different situations.

    Classifying yourself is fun, but the system is crude and you'll always find ways to cast doubt on your type based on the 49 or whatever percent of information keeps getting ignored. And even then, it's hard to tell 49% apart from 51%. I'd say fuck it and leave the endless, pointless debate to SolitaryWalker.

  5. #5
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Just give up, the gods decreed that you're not to know your type.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I would spend some time reflecting on the nature of MBTI, rather than your type.

    I recently read something in a Theories of Personality by Hall/Lindzy, in a chapter on Allport's theory of personality. Just to give you a little background, Allport's believed that personality could be understood as an amalgamation of "traits." A trait is a disposition to act in a certain way, given a certain stimulus. Allport believed that these traits were unique to people and no two people had the same exact trait, just different traits. With that said:



    So if you're going to describe someone's traits, you say "they do this when this happens, and that when that happens." You're not giving that trait a label, and not trying to group the traits together to look for a trend. Typing is very different. It takes the traits -- the sum of a person's responses -- and tries to code one narrow class (decision making, information gathering) based on which responses predominate. The responses that don't predominate are pretty much ignored. For example, if I'm 49% F and 51% T, I call myself a T. But then what about the 49% F?

    I'm guessing you keep seeing the other part and think "oh, I must be a this." But if you think about it, it's really rather irrelevant. You will continue to think the way you think regardless of how you classify yourself under a crude classification scheme. Your preferences won't change after you classify yourself. Neither will the way you think. You probably have traits that belong to each type that get expressed in different situations.

    Classifying yourself is fun, but the system is crude and you'll always find ways to cast doubt on your type based on the 49 or whatever percent of information keeps getting ignored. And even then, it's hard to tell 49% apart from 51%. I'd say fuck it and leave the endless, pointless debate to SolitaryWalker.
    This is all a mistake. Its very easy for a person to have nearly as many extroverted as introverted personality traits. (This may even change, this year he may have more extroverted than introverted and the other year the ohter way around).

    The same goes for the rest of the typological discrepancies. If you think this way you're unlikely to know your true type. (You could easily go from believing you are T at one point to believing you're an F at the other point.) And so on.

    If we want to know our true type, MBTI must be abandoned in favor Neo-Jungian typology. Or the study of solidified unconscious dispositions.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Senior Member velocity's Avatar
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    what do you suppose happens when you "figure it out"? nirvana? keep in mind that in the realm of knowledge, identity, love, and pretty much everything in this universe, none of us will fully "know" anything.

    i think you're an sf, by the way.

  7. #7
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnyz22 View Post
    what do you suppose happens when you "figure it out"? nirvana? keep in mind that in the realm of knowledge, identity, love, and pretty much everything in this universe, none of will fully "know" anything.

    i think you're an sf, by the way.
    When you figure out your type, you shall discover how your mind, in its nature is predisposed to behave. Your personality may change, but type shall not.

    Take a typical Extrovert for instance who is a politician. In his career he shall behave like an ordinary Extrovert, outgoing and opinionated. Suppose he was sacked from office and is now forced to work as an accountant. At this point he would start to develop more reserved, contemplative cognitive traits. Yet what would not change is his physiological disposition that leads him to be most easily energized through interaction with his environment than through contemplation.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Senior Member velocity's Avatar
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    futhermore beyond, i appreciate your honest self-inquiries but it's also become clear to yourself (or rather, the way you have started to perceive this practice) that this pattern has become unhealthy and dis-empowering. what do you hope to achieve by finally pin-pointing your "unconscious behavioral/cognitive" tendencies - do you hope to understand yourself, your past, and shape your future in a positive manner? what is it that you truly want from this hypothetical complete understanding of your "type"?

  9. #9
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    This is all a mistake. Its very easy for a person to have nearly as many extroverted as introverted personality traits. (This may even change, this year he may have more extroverted than introverted and the other year the ohter way around).
    Meh. In order to determine that with accuracy, you would need to knowing the complete set of a person's traits, and classify all of them. That's impossible for lots of reasons. First off, there are way too many traits, because every situation is unique and is responded to with a different, unique trait. Beyond that, traits develop with personality, so by the time you classify some, they've already changed.

    The same goes for the rest of the typological discrepancies. If you think this way you're unlikely to know your true type. (You could easily go from believing you are T at one point to believing you're an F at the other point.) And so on.
    It's this myth of the "true type" that has people confused about who they are.

  10. #10
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Perhaps you are in a wack phase of your life in which you _____________ (aren't busy enough / are recovering from trauma / what have you), and are therefore trying to fill a void with an obsession rather than tend to source of the emptiness?

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